Shaggy Ridge is a four mile knife-edged ridge line feature located in the Finisterre Mountains (Finisterre Range) in northeastern New Guinea. Today located in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea. Located inland from Dumpu and Madang situated between the Mene River and Faria River. At one end is the Kankiryo Saddle, linking the ridge to the Faria Ridge and Faria Valley. From the Ramu Valley, Shaggy Ridge is oriented north-northwest with the highest elevation at 4,900' / 1,497m at Lat 5°46.36'S Long 145°44.23'E.
During World War II this feature was named "Shaggy Ridge" by the Australian Army in honor of Captain Robert "Shaggy Bob" Clampett, 2/27th Infantry Battalion, A Company Commanding Officer (C. O.). Saggy Ridge has three conical
outcrops nicknamed by the Australians: The Pimple, Intermediate Snipers Pimple and Green
By October 1943, the Australian Army advance in the Ramu Valley, their next objective was to capture Shaggy Ridge the advance towards Bogadjim and Madang. The advancing Australian Army 7th Division included the 21st Brigade and 25th Brigade that were later replaced by the 15th Bridge (Militia) and 18th Brigade.
On Shaggy Ridge, the Japanese Army had established positions along the ridge and Kankiryo Saddle to block the Australian advance. Defending was 78th Infantry Regiment, supported by the 26th Artillery Regiment and the 27 Independent Engineer Regiment, which formed part of a detachment under the command of Major General Masutaro Nakai. The Japanese were at roughly half strength.
A series of minor engagements followed in the foothills of the Finisterre Range before the Australians came up against strong resistance centered around the Kankiryo Saddle and Shaggy Ridge, which consisted of steep features with heavily defended rocky outcrops.
After a preliminary assault on a forward position dubbed The Pimple in late December 1943, the Australians renewed their assault in the middle of January 1944 and over the course of a two week period captured Shaggy Ridge and the Kankiryo Saddle, after launching a three prong brigade sized attack.
Allied missions against Shaggy Ridge
December 31, 1943 – January 19, 1944
During December 1943 until the middle of January site of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. In total, the Australians suffered 46 Killed In Action (KIA) and 147 Wounded In Action (WIA) Australians. Japanese casualties were approximately 500 killed. Afterwards, the Australians pursued the Japanese to the north coast of New Guinea and later captured Madang when they linked up with U. S. Army and other Australian forces.
The Pimple (Sniper's Pimple)
This feature is a rocky pinnacle sprouting
perpendicularly from the main mountain spur of Shaggy Ridge. During the Battle of Shaggy Ridge, Australians nicknamed it "The Pimple" or "Sniper's Pimple". Defended by the Japanese with positions
and foxholes that made it a formidable fortress within which were two
other conical outcrops, a few hundred yards away. This was the most strategically important ridge during the battle.
Intermediate Snipers Pimple
This feature is a located on Shaggy Ridge. During the Battle of Shaggy Ridge, Australians nicknamed it "Intermediate Snipers Pimple". Defended by the Japanese during the battle.
Green Snipers Pimple
This feature is a located on Shaggy Ridge. During the Battle of Shaggy Ridge, Australians nicknamed it "Green Snipers Pimple". Defended by the Japanese during the battle.
Australian Army History: Shaggy Ridge
Shaggy Ridge 19-31 January 1944
On Shaggy Ridge (2004) by Phil Bradley
On Shaggy Ridge (2005) by Phil Bradley
Sun Setters of the Southwest Pacific Area (2011) pages 269-270 (Jan 18-20, 1944 missions against Shaggy Ridge)
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October 23, 2019